CInema in Noir – A Celebration of Female Friendship

In honor of Women’s History Month, on this week’s episode on “Cinema In Noir” my co-hosts and I discussed our favorite films that highlight positive relationships between women.   

Here are a few of my picks:

 Clueless (1995)

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In 1995, Cher, Dionne, and Tai were the crew I most wanted to be down with.  I wanted to be rollin’ with the homies and hang out at parties in the valley. The girls of Clueless, played by Alicia Silverstone, an ageless Stacey Dash, and the late Brittany Murphy, were the epitome of cool to my 15 year old self. Despite the flightiness and superficiality of high-school, the friendship between the three girls was real. Forget Josh, Dionne is Cher’s true soul mate.

 Our Song (2000)

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Lanisha, Maria, and Joycelyn are three friends who share a love for music. It is through them playing in the community band and their friendship with each other that they are able to traverse the very real personal issues they are facing. The friendship between the girls is not perfect.  But that is what makes it so real.  The relationship is evidence that through good and bad, true friendship endures. Also, the movie marks the feature film debut of a young Kerry Washington.

Deliver Us From Eva (2003)

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Technically Eva, Kareenah, Bethany and Jacqui are sisters (played by Gabrielle Union, Essence Atkins, Robinne Lee, and Meagan Good, repectively).  But one of the recurring themes in the movie is how much Eva wants her sister’s friendship and how she values that almost over love. The Dandridge sisters are the best of friends, much to the chagrin of their husbands and boyfriends.  They have special codes that refer to specific situations and they even share a special song.  And for me, a girl who doesn’t have sisters but always wanted them, I really love the dynamic between the women.  They love, support, and respect each other unconditionally.

What are your favorite films that feature friendship between women?

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Cinema In Noir – Our Favorite Black Women in Literature

On this week’s episode on “Cinema In Noir” my co-hosts and I discussed the novels written by African American novelists that we want to see on the big screen, including the works of Octavia Butler, Trisha Thomas, and Jessie Fauset. We also gave consideration to the actresses we would love to cast in the leading roles.

Here are a few of my picks:

Tika Sumpter as Joanna Marshall in Jessie Redmon Fauset’s There is Confusion(1924)

Tika Sumpter is a star on the rise. I think she is perfect to bring one of the first black feminist protagonist, Joanna Marshall to life on the big screen.

Rashida Jones as Helga Crane in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand(1928)

Rashida Jones would make the perfect Helga Crane. As a biracial woman trying to find her way in in the 1920s, I think Jones could would bring energy and vitality to the dynamic character.

Anika Noni Rose as Jessica Wolde in Tananarive Due’s My Soul To Keep(1997)

Anika Noni Rose would make an amazing Jessica. One of the most versatile actresses working today, she could portray the needed strength and vulnerability of the heroine who learns a life altering secret about her husband. And rumor has it, both the author and actress agree with me.

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Cinema In Noir – Our Favorite Black Women in Literature

On this week’s episode on “Cinema In Noir” my co-hosts and I discussed the novels written by African American novelists that we want to see on the big screen, including the works of Octavia Butler, Trisha Thomas, and Jessie Fauset. We also gave consideration to the actresses we would love to cast in the leading roles.

Here are a few of my picks:

Tika Sumpter as Joanna Marshall in Jessie Redmon Fauset’s There is Confusion(1924)

Tika Sumpter is a star on the rise. I think she is perfect to bring one of the first black feminist protagonist, Joanna Marshall to life on the big screen.

Rashida Jones as Helga Crane in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand(1928)

Rashida Jones would make the perfect Helga Crane. As a biracial woman trying to find her way in in the 1920s, I think Jones could would bring energy and vitality to the dynamic character.

Anika Noni Rose as Jessica Wolde in Tananarive Due’s My Soul To Keep(1997)

Anika Noni Rose would make an amazing Jessica. One of the most versatile actresses working today, she could portray the needed strength and vulnerability of the heroine who learns a life altering secret about her husband. And rumor has it, both the author and actress agree with me.

Listen Here

Cinema In Noir – Our Favorite Black Women in Literature

On this week’s episode on “Cinema In Noir” my co-hosts and I discussed the novels written by African American novelists that we want to see on the big screen, including the works of Octavia Butler, Trisha Thomas, and Jessie Fauset. We also gave consideration to the actresses we would love to cast in the leading roles.

Here are a few of my picks:

Tika Sumpter as Joanna Marshall in Jessie Redmon Fauset’s There is Confusion(1924)

Tika Sumpter is a star on the rise. I think she is perfect to bring one of the first black feminist protagonist, Joanna Marshall to life on the big screen.

Rashida Jones as Helga Crane in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand(1928)

Rashida Jones would make the perfect Helga Crane. As a biracial woman trying to find her way in in the 1920s, I think Jones could would bring energy and vitality to the dynamic character.

Anika Noni Rose as Jessica Wolde in Tananarive Due’s My Soul To Keep(1997)

Anika Noni Rose would make an amazing Jessica. One of the most versatile actresses working today, she could portray the needed strength and vulnerability of the heroine who learns a life altering secret about her husband. And rumor has it, both the author and actress agree with me.

Listen Here

Cinema In Noir – Our Favorite Black Women in Literature

On this week’s episode on “Cinema In Noir” my co-hosts and I discussed the novels written by African American novelists that we want to see on the big screen, including the works of Octavia Butler, Trisha Thomas, and Jessie Fauset. We also gave consideration to the actresses we would love to cast in the leading roles.

Here are a few of my picks:

Tika Sumpter as Joanna Marshall in Jessie Redmon Fauset’s There is Confusion(1924)

Tika Sumpter is a star on the rise. I think she is perfect to bring one of the first black feminist protagonist, Joanna Marshall to life on the big screen.

Rashida Jones as Helga Crane in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand(1928)

Rashida Jones would make the perfect Helga Crane. As a biracial woman trying to find her way in in the 1920s, I think Jones could would bring energy and vitality to the dynamic character.

Anika Noni Rose as Jessica Wolde in Tananarive Due’s My Soul To Keep(1997)

Anika Noni Rose would make an amazing Jessica. One of the most versatile actresses working today, she could portray the needed strength and vulnerability of the heroine who learns a life altering secret about her husband. And rumor has it, both the author and actress agree with me.

Listen Here

Cinema In Noir – Our Favorite Black Women in Literature

On this week’s episode on “Cinema In Noir” my co-hosts and I discussed the novels written by African American novelists that we want to see on the big screen, including the works of Octavia Butler, Trisha Thomas, and Jessie Fauset. We also gave consideration to the actresses we would love to cast in the leading roles.

Here are a few of my picks:

Tika Sumpter as Joanna Marshall in Jessie Redmon Fauset’s There is Confusion(1924)

Tika Sumpter is a star on the rise. I think she is perfect to bring one of the first black feminist protagonist, Joanna Marshall to life on the big screen.

Rashida Jones as Helga Crane in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand(1928)

Rashida Jones would make the perfect Helga Crane. As a biracial woman trying to find her way in in the 1920s, I think Jones could would bring energy and vitality to the dynamic character.

Anika Noni Rose as Jessica Wolde in Tananarive Due’s My Soul To Keep(1997)

Anika Noni Rose would make an amazing Jessica. One of the most versatile actresses working today, she could portray the needed strength and vulnerability of the heroine who learns a life altering secret about her husband. And rumor has it, both the author and actress agree with me.

Listen Here

Cinema In Noir – Our Favorite Black Women in Literature

On this week’s episode on “Cinema In Noir” my co-hosts and I discussed the novels written by African American novelists that we want to see on the big screen, including the works of Octavia Butler, Trisha Thomas, and Jessie Fauset. We also gave consideration to the actresses we would love to cast in the leading roles.

Here are a few of my picks:

Tika Sumpter as Joanna Marshall in Jessie Redmon Fauset’s There is Confusion(1924)

Tika Sumpter is a star on the rise. I think she is perfect to bring one of the first black feminist protagonist, Joanna Marshall to life on the big screen.

Rashida Jones as Helga Crane in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand(1928)

Rashida Jones would make the perfect Helga Crane. As a biracial woman trying to find her way in in the 1920s, I think Jones could would bring energy and vitality to the dynamic character.

Anika Noni Rose as Jessica Wolde in Tananarive Due’s My Soul To Keep(1997)

Anika Noni Rose would make an amazing Jessica. One of the most versatile actresses working today, she could portray the needed strength and vulnerability of the heroine who learns a life altering secret about her husband. And rumor has it, both the author and actress agree with me.

Listen Here

Cinema In Noir – Oscar Wrap Up

Today on Cinema in Noir, my co-hosts and I discussed the highs and lows of the 84th Annual Academy Awards that aired last night. We discussed everything from the wins, the fashion, Viola’s natural hair, and Billy Crystal in “blackface.”

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Cinema in Noir – Female Biopics and Interview with Dorian Missick

 

On today’s episode on “Cinema In Noir” my co-hosts and I discussed the black female biopics we want to see on the big screen, including Shirley Chisholm, Lena Horne, and Pam Grier. We also interviewed actor Dorian Missick about his role on TNT’s Southland, his webseries Lenox Ave and his desire to play Richard Pryor on the big screen.

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The Black Female Biopics I Most Want to See

On today’s episode of my podcast “Cinema in Noir” my co-hosts and I talked about the black female biopics we would most like to see on the big screen. This was inspired by a post that my co-host Candice wrote on her blog Reel Talk (read her picks here). Below are the black female biopics that I want to see and the actresses that I think should bring them to life.

Rashida Jones as Fredi Washington

Washington was an accomplished actress in the 1920s and 30s. She starred as “Peola” in the 1934 version of Imitation of Life opposite Louise Beavers. Because of her complexion, Washington was encouraged to pass for white, which she refused. As a result of her looks, she found it hard to find roles and eventually left Hollywood. I think that Jones could handle this role with the style, grace, and empathy that Washington deserves.


Anika Noni Rose as Cicely Tyson

Tyson is the living embodiment of the word legend. The first African-American Actress to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a TV Movie, the first black woman to host Saturday Night Live and one of the few to be nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award, Tyson is an icon. The actress who portrays Tyson has to embody her undeniable class, unwavering strength and her uncanny beauty. I think that Rose is just the woman to do it.


Kerry Washington as Jessie Fauset

Fauset was one of the most significant figures of the Harlem Renaissance. She is considered the “midwife” of the movement. She was a protégé of WEB DuBois and considered him a mentor and friend. She was the editor of The Crisis Magazine and considered by many to be the most intelligent women novelist of her time. I think Washington has the poise and talent to bring the life of this behind the scenes literary hero to the forefront.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield as Pam Grier

Grier’s autobiography, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts is the perfect blueprint for a biopic. Her performances as “Foxy Brown” and “Coffy” are legendary. Grier is regarded by many as the first female action star. In my opinion, Richardson-Whitfield has the look, the physicality, and above all else, the acting chops to bring Foxy to life.

Viola Davis as Barbara Jordan

Jordan was the first African American elected to the Texas State Senate and was the first African American female elected to the US House of Representatives. After hearing Davis’ numerous acceptance speeches over the course of this award season, I began to imagine her on the big screen reenacting Jordan’s legendary speech at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. It would be a truly magical cinematic moment.

Gabrielle Union as Zora Neale Hurston

Hurston is one of the most celebrated African-American novelists. In addition to her work as a writer and anthropologist, the stories of Hurston’s independent spirit and nonconformist ways are legendary (she smoked and wore pants when many women did not). I would love to see Union sink her teeth in the complex world of Hurston. With the right director (say Kasi Lemmons), I think this could be epic.